10 Questions We Have About ‘Apes 3’ After Watching ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’


Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes just wrapped its first weekend of release here in the United States, and based on its $73 million dollar haul at the box office I think it’s safe to say a third film in the modern Apes franchise is not far from being a reality. It has long been rumored that a trilogy was the plan from day one, but as Hollywood has suffered a few misfire franchise launches in recent years (Mortal Instruments, Beautiful Creatures) executives have become a bit more hesitant to guarantee anything until they see a return on their initial investment. Dawn is poised to perform just fine at the box office, however, so let’s go ahead and talk about the future.

For the purpose of this article we’re going to go ahead and assume a third film will eventually go into production, and if there is any kind of god-like being watching over us they will allow Matt Reeves to once again serve as director. If and when that happens, there will be a number of paths the story can take based on the final moments of Dawn. Some feel obvious, others are more of a long shot, but both are worthy of water cooler conversation this week.

WARNING: Spoilers follow. Duh.

1. Will the army ever arrive? If so, what will happen?

Amidst all the chaos that ensued when the apes stormed the city it appears the humans were able to get a message out to another radio beacon before losing power altogether. There is even mention of reinforcements being on the way before the film closes, which leads Malcolm (Jason Clarke) to warn Caesar, but there is nothing in the moments that follow or hidden at the end of the credits to suggest the army ever actually arrives. If they do, where did they come from? Who is in command? A decade has passed since what was essentially the downfall of society, yet there is still blind faith in the fact that whoever answers a radio distress call is doing so with the best of intentions? This could spell trouble for people and ape alike, if anything happens at all.

2. Is Jason Clarke going to pull a James Franco and never be seen again?

The focus of this franchise has very much been on the apes and their blossoming society, which makes it more or less okay for the filmmakers to treat humans as interchangeably as they would animals in any other situation. If you have a real life ape in your film, chances are there are 4 or 5 apes playing that role, so what’s wrong with switching out humans every time you have a new story to tell about the apes? In short, nothing, but Jason Clarke brought such gravitas to this film that I would hate to see him disappear from the universe entirely. That said, we could replace Keri Russell and I wouldn’t bat an eye.

3. Are we really supposed to believe that Koba is dead?

I know we all watched as Koba crashed his way down the lone remaining skyscraper in San Francisco, but a lifetime of watching films has taught me to never believe a bad guy has been vanquished until you see their corpse. That’s a bit morbid, I know, but it’s the truth. A return from Koba is highly unlikely given the amount of material and room for expansion Reeves laid with this film, but it is certainly not out of the question. There’s also the option for a revenge angle from one of his family members, but did anyone ever really love Koba?

4. WHEN will the next Planet Of The Apes film take place?

Ten years passed between the events in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and the events in Dawn, so it’s not hard to imagine that the third entry will make a similar leap into the future. The producers have said they would like to reach the point where the story from the 1968 film begins, but based on what happened in the most recent film that moment is still many, many years away. If that endpoint is still there goal, a leap would be necessary and would erase any possibility of seeing Malcolm return. We might also lose Caesar, which leads to another good question…

5.Will Caesar’s son become the focus of the next film?

Depending on whether or not there is a giant leap between the events of Dawn and whatever the next entry is titled, there is a good possibility one of Caesar’s two sons will take over the throne. There were many moments in Dawn that I felt existed solely so that we could see Caesar’s eldest being groomed for the throne, which would make for an interesting ‘changing of the guards’ moment at some point in a future story.

6. Will the next film take place in a new location?

Before Malcolm flees San Francisco at the end of Dawn, Caesar informs him that the apes have no intention of leaving their home, despite the fact he’s just been informed that the humans have made contact with the outside world. It’s possible the next film will take place in any even more decrepit version of the same city, but I doubt the filmmaker responsible for wrapping up this powerful trilogy will want to tell another story of apes vs. humans in a war torn and decaying San Francisco. They will likely want to establish their own time and place, which may require a new location altogether. Rise told the story of man’s downfall and took place almost entirely in a city. Dawn told the story of apes’ downfall and man’s relentless desire to survive split amongst the city and the forest. To move forward, it feels like things almost have to move further away from the city. Apes have no need for skyscrapers and street lamps. Let the Earth reclaim its land and tell us a story without cities. We (the audience) can handle it.

7. How big of a role will humans have in the next film?

Apes are the focus of this series, as we have already covered, and in Dawn the amount of screen time given to their culture far outweighs the amount of time allotted to humanity. With this in mind it makes sense that the third film would push humans further into the background, but that may not be the case. If we are supposed to reach the events of the original series then humans will have to come into play in a big way. The difference, however, is that the original series was told almost entirely from the perspective of the humans who crash landed. Rise, and more importantly Dawn, has been told largely from the perspective of the apes. To bring in a more human-centric storyline would risk changing the tone of the franchise as a whole. Also…

8. When do we get to talk about outer space?

If the producers of this series really want to reach a point in ape evolution where the events from the 1968 original film take place then we have to talk about the presence of humans in outer space. If you recall, there is mention in Rise about a spaceship being sent off to explore the great beyond. Movie nerds and Reddit theorists believe this to be the same ship that launched George Taylor (Charlton Heston) in the original film. This cannot be confirmed at this time, of course, but if true it does open a new avenue for the current franchise to feature moments from the 1968 story without leaping too much further into the future.

9. If George Taylor really is aboard that spaceship, who will play him?

I know we all want the answer to this question to be Mark Wahlberg, but if that turned out to actually be true it would bastardize and cheapen everything else this franchise has accomplished. I imagine we’ll get another strong male lead, late 30s/early 40s type, with a solid film pedigree behind them. They will also likely be a mid-level lead, falling in line with Clarke and Franco. That said, I think Robert Redford could have the role of a lifetime with the right script.

10. Will The Oscars recognize Andy Serkis?

This series would not work without Andy Serkis, but for whatever reasons the powers that control awards season never give him the credit he deserves. Some say it’s because the characters he portrays are often CG, but those same people do not seem to realize that they only work on screen because Serkis finds a way to breathe life into what would otherwise be a colorful assortment of 1s and 0s. Give him an award. No, give him all the awards. He deserves them.

What questions do you have about Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and the sequel we assume will be announced soon? Comment below and let us know.

Feature written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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